Plays, 1894-1910

Overview


Although Tolstoy's fame rests on his novels, he was also a prolific dramatist. Because his plays are satirical, didactic, and colored by complex peasant dialect, earlier translations have been seriously flawed. These imperfect translations, coupled with Tolstoy's famous polemics against Shakespeare and Chekhov, have reinforced the general misapprehension that Tolstoy was not a dramatist.

Now noted Slavic philologist Marvin Kantor and Tatiana Tulchinsky have prepared the first ...

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Overview


Although Tolstoy's fame rests on his novels, he was also a prolific dramatist. Because his plays are satirical, didactic, and colored by complex peasant dialect, earlier translations have been seriously flawed. These imperfect translations, coupled with Tolstoy's famous polemics against Shakespeare and Chekhov, have reinforced the general misapprehension that Tolstoy was not a dramatist.

Now noted Slavic philologist Marvin Kantor and Tatiana Tulchinsky have prepared the first complete English translation of the great writer's plays. This volume contains plays written during the years 1894 to 1910, including:

Peter the Breadman
And the Light Shineth in Darkness
The Living Corpse
The Wisdom of Children
The Traveler and the Peasant
The Cause of It All

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810115989
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press
  • Publication date: 8/5/1998
  • Series: European Drama Classics Series
  • Edition description: Translated
  • Pages: 257
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) wrote two of the great novels of the nineteenth century, War and Peace and Anna Karenina.

Marvin Kantor is Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature at Northwestern University and the author of Dramatic Works of D. I. Fonvizin and The Origins of Christianity in Bohemia.

 
Tanya Tulchinsky manages the book department at the Russian Press Service, Inc., and has translated into Russian the works of William Faulkner and D. H. Lawrence, among others.
 
Andrew Baruch Wachtel is Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Northwestern University.

Biography

Count Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 on the family estate of Yasnaya Polyana, in the Tula province, where he spent most of his early years, together with his several brothers. In 1844 he entered the University of Kazan to read Oriental Languages and later Law, but left before completing a degree. He spent the following years in a round of drinking, gambling and womanizing, until weary of his idle existence he joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus in 1851.

He took part in the Crimean war and after the defence of Sevastopol wrote The Sevastopol Sketches (1855-6), which established his literary reputation. After leaving the army in 1856 Tolstoy spent some time mixing with the literati in St Petersburg before traveling abroad and then settling at Yasnaya Polyana, where he involved himself in the running of peasant schools and the emancipation of the serfs. His marriage to Sofya Andreyevna Behrs in 1862 marked the beginning of a period of contentment centred around family life; they had thirteen children. Tolstoy managed his vast estates, continued his educational projects, cared for his peasants and wrote both his great novels, War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877).

During the 1870s he underwent a spiritual crisis, the moral and religious ideas that had always dogged him coming to the fore. A Confession (1879–82) marked an outward change in his life and works; he became an extreme rationalist and moralist, and in a series of pamphlets written after 1880 he rejected church and state, indicted the demands of flesh, and denounced private property. His teachings earned him numerous followers in Russia and abroad, and also led finally to his excommunication by the Russian Holy Synod in 1901. In 1910 at the age of eighty-two he fled from home "leaving this worldly life in order to live out my last days in peace and solitude;" he died some days later at the station master's house at Astapovo.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Books LTD.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 9, 1828
    2. Place of Birth:
      Tula Province, Russia
    1. Date of Death:
      November 20, 1910
    2. Place of Death:
      Astapovo, Russia

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